Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April 1 Flu Update

Serious avian outbreak in Central Vietnam.

Hong Kong is restricting poultry movement to fight bird flu.

In an operation described here as "desperate," live birds are being burned in West Bengal.

The US Ambassador to Indonesia is bringing $$ to help fight bird flu.

1 Comments:

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

Well, there’s always seems to be interesting news and information embedded in the articles you post.

Take your Hong Kong article which discusses their new “zonal approach” to banning poultry from Guangdong Province, when there are avian and human H5N1 outbreaks, for instance. It triggered my old memory cells back to a couple of months ago when I pointed out the little known fact that one of the major industries in the West Bengal Province of India, was processing meals for numerous international airlines (specialty: chicken).

Guess what again, when we take a look at the Guangdong Province area ? First, it is the most populated province in China (geographically about the size of Rhode Island), with nearly 80 million permanent residents and another 31 million migrant workers, totaling 111 million in population. Guangzhou, the capital is only a quick two hour trip by train, from Hong Kong, so it’s pretty darn close. Because of its high population density and close proximity in which humans and animals live together, Guangdong Province has most often been the source of various influenza viruses, and in late 2002, is suspected to be the source of SARS. In fact, the famous local cuisine saying is, “we eat anything that walks, crawls, or flies”.

Catering airlines is one of the leading food industries in Guangzhou, and has increased approximately 25% per year in growth, every year for the last twenty years. China Southern Airlines, became a partner in “Skyteam Alliance” in 2007, with KLM, Air France, Alitalia and Delta, just to name a few of the big international airlines. They produce over 50,000 airline meals a day for the international passengers on these airlines (and more).

Regardless of what zonal preventative measures Hong Kong is considering, between the powerful poultry and airline industries there, probably very little quarantining of poultry will actually be implemented, in my opinion.

When a person flies internationally in the Asian part of the world, they can pretty much bank that their in-flight meal was prepared in West Bengal or Guangzhou, and it will be most likely consist of a piece of chicken or pork. From the same exact “hot zone” regions where H5N1 is found to be pretty widespread, year-to-year.

As many bird flu experts the world over have pointed out for several years now… a human influenza pandemic is only one transatlantic international airline flight away. There are in fact, already many documented cases of people eating H5N1 infected chicken in various parts of the world, then getting bird flu and dying.

For the record, I would suggest to everyone that we keep our "news eyes" closely on the Guangdong Province.

Wulfgang

 

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